Exclusive: Obama set for first DNC fundraiser since leaving office

President Obama return Tom Perez Democrats smerconish intv_00000000
President Obama return Tom Perez Democrats smerconish intv_00000000

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Story highlights

  • The Democrats fundraising has lagged since Barack Obama left office
  • The $3.8 million the DNC raised in July was its worst month since January 2009

(CNN)Former President Barack Obama is set to hold a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee -- the first time he'll raise money for the party and just his second political event overall since leaving office, a Democratic Party official told CNN on Friday.

The fundraiser, set for September 27 in Washington according to a Democratic Party official, is expected to help Obama's former labor secretary, DNC Chairman Tom Perez, bolster the party's lagging fundraising numbers and pump money into state parties and Virginia races this fall.
Invites to party donors are going out Friday afternoon.
    Obama's first in-person foray back into politics since leaving the White House came in July, when he attended a small, private fundraiser at a house in Washington for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, the new group led by former Attorney General Eric Holder.
    Since then, Obama has tweeted about politics and events, including Charlottesville and the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But his criticism of President Donald Trump has only been implicit, and he has not used Trump's name.
    The DNC's fundraising has lagged since Obama left office, as the party has installed new leadership and senior staff in the first six months of Perez's tenure.
    The $3.8 million the DNC raised in July -- the most recent month for which FEC reports are available -- was its worst month since January 2009, the month Obama took office. The DNC ended July with $6.8 million cash on hand and $3.4 million in debt.
    The Republican National Committee, meanwhile, raised $7.8 million in July. It has $47.1 million cash on hand and no debt.
    Still, Perez has announced $10 million in competitive grants to fund innovative state party efforts and announced $10,000 in funding for each state party through 2018. He has also said the DNC will spend $1.5 million on the gubernatorial and state legislative races in Virginia this fall.
    The DNC has also been ramping up its fundraising team -- from three finance staffers on the skeleton crew Perez inherited to 30 people as of August.
    Former Vice President Joe Biden has participated in one DNC fundraiser -- its LGBT gala in New York City this summer.